JOSE’S BOYS OUTCLASS JAAP’S TROOPS
FOR a man who detests losing, Jaap Stam was remarkably sanguine about his side’s demolition at the hands of Rooney and Co.
Perhaps he was simply softened by the love that flowed from the terraces. More likely he knew no level of tactical tinkering would have allowed his side to compete with a United side in such destructive mood. Yes, the Royals could have stuck ten men behind the ball. But with Rooney hell bent on Sir Bobby Charlton’s scoring record and a host of fringe players keen to turn Jose Mourinho’s head, this ‘weakened’ unit was arguably more dangerous than a de facto first XI.
They were too fast, too strong, too sharp. The movement between the front four of Martial, Mata, Rooney and Rashford too instinctive.
Too many FA Cup underdogs play safety first, only to bow out with a head full of regrets. Stam and his players deserve credit for at least having a go, however embarrassing and ineffective the results.
SLIDE AWAY: Reading’s Danny Williams tackles United’s Ashley Young. Inset: Anthony Martial scores United’s second